HAMMOND | A former Chicago police officer has joined the majority ranks of those who signed plea agreements in the widespread Latin Kings racketeering case, according to court filings released Thursday.
Alex Guerrero, a Chicagoan in his early 40s, was accused of robbing drug traffickers and turning over the proceeds to the Latin Kings. Guerrero and his former partner on the Chicago police force, Antonio Martinez Jr., allegedly used their police-issued unmarked vehicle, guns, body armor and badges to commit the crimes under the guise of legitimate police operations.
"There was no particular piece of evidence or witness testimony that played into his decision," said Kevin Milner, Guerrero's attorney. "He chose to plead guilty because he felt it was the right thing to do for his family."
Guerrero has elderly parents, Milner said, and he is married with children.
Between about 2004 and 2006, the Latin Kings paid Guerrero and Martinez at least $10,000 in kickbacks for turning over several drug seizures in Illinois and Indiana, according to the indictment and testimony.
Guerrero plans to plead guilty to one count each of conspiring to participate in racketeering activity, conspiring to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine and at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, interference with commerce by threats or violence, and carrying a firearm during crimes of violence and drug trafficking, according to the plea agreement.
Martinez changed his plea for the same charges in December as part of a plea deal, and Sisto "Cisco" Bernal, who was accused of giving Martinez and Guerrero marching orders, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges as part of a plea deal last week.
Without the plea agreement, Guerrero was facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In exchange for his plea, he and prosecutors agreed to ask Judge Rudy Lozano for a sentence of 19 years.
"This is a fair resolution of the case," Milner said. "Although Alex spent many years as a good and honest police officer, he recognizes the seriousness of the allegations."
Now, at least 17 of 23 defendants have signed plea agreements since the first Latin King indictment was unsealed in June 2010. The remaining defendants are scheduled for trial in September.